Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

20 Oct 2014 Comments Off on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , , , ,

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

There is evidence to show that by understanding the dynamic relationship between our thoughts, feelings and actions, we may be able to treat anxiety, depression, chronic pain and addictions. The basic tenant of CBT is that our mood is affected by feelings, but feelings are strongly affected by our thoughts and behaviours. While feelings are difficult to change, sometimes we do have control over our thoughts and behaviours. Changing or altering both thoughts and behaviours can have a positive effect on our feelings, which in turn can help us cope better with day-to-day life.

What does CBT look like?

People who begin CBT usually meet with a counsellor once every week or two for between 5- 10 sessions. Some clients may need more sessions depending on the severity of their concerns. In these sessions, the counsellor will help teach how to break down problems into different parts (thoughts, feelings and behaviours) with the hope of achieving better understanding. The counsellor and client then analyze which thoughts and behaviours are helpful and which are not. The counsellor then helps the client practice changing unhelpful patterns, thoughts and behaviours. There is often homework: the client practices these changes and then comes back to the next session to evaluate any improvement in symptoms. By the end of the sessions, the client ideally will be able to apply changes to many aspects of life in order to cope better.

Some people find CBT more helpful than taking medication because it teaches long-lasting skills. Others feel a combination of both to be the best fit for them. For more information, please contact your doctor or consider booking an individual or group online counselling session at joanneschwartz.com.